Snorkeling is an exceptional activity that virtually anyone can take part in. Similar to scuba diving, it doesn’t require air tanks or a lot of special equipment for fending off increased water pressure, although an adequate mask, fins, a proper wetsuit and, of course, the snorkels themselves are very important for keeping safe. Once you have all that, you will find this activity is one of the best for underwater exploration of marine life and underwater photography. Adults and children alike can have lots of fun exploring shallow waters and coral reefs, and it can get even more exciting when you try out the pristine waters in places like southeast Asia, the Pacific or the Caribbean.
Although a lot of people tend to compare snorkeling to scuba diving, there are many differences that set the two apart. First of all, you don’t need expensive tanks, regulators and other equipment that may be vital to scuba diving. The snorkel is basically just a twisted tube that allows you to breathe near the surface of the water with your face down, while in the case of scuba diving, you can breathe underwater at depths exceeding 15-20 feet – in which case additional safety concerns are also present, such as growing water pressure and decreased visibility. Finally, you don’t need any kind of certification to use a snorkel, while you definitely need a license for scuba diving.
Of course, it always pays off to be an exceptional swimmer, no matter what types of activities you engage in underwater. In the case of snorkeling, however, this isn’t a mandatory requirement. It is recommended that you have some degree of comfort and skill when swimming underwater, but the idea is that, in most cases, the fins you use will help you keep near the surface and perform even difficult maneuvers with relative ease. Also, snorkels come in all shapes and sizes, some being long enough to offer a certain degree of freedom to dive in a little deeper at times. If you’re not comfortable with swimming at all, you can also use various floating devices. In most cases, this isn’t overly necessary, of course, since most of the best spots for the activity are less than 2 meters deep.
For safety, it’s important to note that choosing the right snorkeling mask and making sure you have the best quality lenses and the most well-designed snorkel are only part of the issue. Also, it’s important to make sure you don’t buy cheap masks and fins. To be sure you are 100% safe, look for brand certified products regardless of the equipment you’re searching for. All that aside, as we have seen, using a snorkel is much safer than scuba diving, and one of the great things about this activity is that people of all ages can participate in it. With the right equipment, a dependable and experienced guide, and adequate supervision for children, snorkeling can be a lot of fun, and as long as you try out your equipment at your hotel pool, there should be nothing to worry about.